delware environmental institute

An award for cold, hard research: Nelson receives lifetime achievement award for permafrost work

An award for cold, hard research:  Nelson receives lifetime achievement award for permafrost work

Growing up, Frederick “Fritz” Nelson dreamed of traveling to exotic places. Over the years, the University of Delaware geography professor has ventured to Alaska, Canada, Russia, Mongolia, and places in between, to examine perennially frozen ground called permafrost and the implications of its thawing for society.

Along the way, Nelson helped to establish the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) network, which now consists of some 200 sites in 15 countries. The network is producing a long-term record of permafrost behavior to document how this frozen ground responds to snow cover and other climatic “drivers,” and to evaluate the performance of climate models.

In recognition of his contributions, the Association of American Geographers (AAG) presented Nelson with the Francois Emile Matthes Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cryospheric Science on April 14, at the AAG annual meeting in Seattle. The society, founded in 1904, has more than 12,000 members representing over 60 countries. (full article)